Designated Read: Imagine it without weather
• No. 18 Houston 73, Rice 34: It'd be nice if more television types knew about the Bayou Bucket trophy awarded annually to the winner of the Cougars-Owls game. With torrential downpours soaking the field at Robertson Stadium Thursday night, bucket bailout jokes were low-hanging fruit, and criminally underused. The rivalry game will move to Reliant Stadium beginning in 2012, where perhaps the participants will enjoy better drainage.
Sopping conditions contributed to a first quarter that looked like it might lead to a ballgame. Before rain even began to fall in earnest, Houston's Tyron Carrier returned the Owls' opening kickoff for a touchdown, his seventh such feat, tying a previous record set by C.J. Spiller at Clemson. Rice fired back with a strong running game, returned a soggy Keenum fumble for a touchdown and seemed quite determined to hang with the Cougars until three consecutive touchdown passes from Houston put the game out of reach by halftime, 38-20.
And Keenum, you might have heard, broke Graham Harrell's career touchdown passes record with his fifth strike of the night -- and just for kicks, fired off four more before relinquishing his helmet in the fourth quarter. Quoth the quarterback, postgame: "That was probably the most fun I've ever had playing football." Yeah, probably. [RECAP | BOX]
• Virginia 28, Miami 21: Available data gave the 'Canes the edge in a Thursday night Coastal Division home stand. Never tell Mike London the odds. His Cavaliers employed a handful of trick plays and abandoned their previously favored quarterback rotation to ride Michael Rocco, Perry Jones and Kevin Parks to victory. [RECAP | BOX]
• 'Eers for real, this time. We think. Probably! Today in grudgingly dispensed realignment news: CBS has reported that West Virginia to the Big 12 is happening again. New York Times and AP reporters confirmed the report, so it'll probably be at least a few hours before this development is scrapped. UCF's and Houston's presidents have been authorized to steer their schools into richer, presumably AQ waters. The Big Ten idles at 12, for now. And the SEC accidentally published a PR package detailing Missouri's future with the conference, and is just super sorry about that totally nonexistent news.
• A little light reading: Moving with startling speed, the NCAA has approved major changes to athletic scholarship regulations and imposed new academic standards for postseason play. Read the Association's official release on the matter here.
• Quote of the day: "Instead of vendor excuse, maybe the SEC could just admit it thought a deal would be done, prepared for it, and accidentally hit publish. You'd be shocked how understanding people are when you make an honest admission of a mistake." -- Andy Staples
• Giveth, taketh: Three Pitt players, including the essential Ray Graham, are done for the season following injuries sustained against UConn Wednesday night. Clemson may be without the services of leading rusher Andre Ellington this Saturday. And Tyler Hansen may miss Colorado's upcoming date with Arizona State.
• Roster blotter: Here's another weird "Jaamal Berry attacks!" story, and Syracuse's Marcus Sales no longer faces felony drug charges, but still stares down an uncertain future with the Orange. • Friday whimsy: Now that it's as official as it's ever been (I'll believe it's done when I see John Marinatto's tear-stained face for myself), here's a handy guide to couch burning ordinances for West Virginia fans visiting the Big 12. Not college football, but you must see this video of an intercepted field goal. Is Tony Barnhart making his SEC mouthpiecedom official? Who is Jake Mullin? We don't know either, Occupy Herbstreit. In some parts of the country, you actually have to be enticed to show up for GameDay. And this Halloween, give your pumpkins some BOOM!